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Kenya’s Youth Activists Gear Up for Bigger Battle After Tax Hike Victory

NAIROBI –After successfully pushing the government to scrap $2.7 billion in proposed tax hikes, Kenya’s young activists are shifting their focus to tackle deeper issues of corruption and misgovernance.

The protestors see the abandoned finance bill, rejected by President William Ruto on Wednesday, as merely the tip of the iceberg in a nation where economic growth has failed to translate into job opportunities for the youth.

What sets this movement apart is its ability to unite Kenyans from various ethnic and regional backgrounds without aligning with any political figure. Historically, Kenyan protests have been led by the elite, often culminating in power-sharing arrangements that yielded little real change for the average protestor.

Now, these young activists face the challenge of keeping their movement cohesive and energized while setting their sights on broader and more complex goals. Another pressing question is how to respond to President Ruto’s vague offer of dialogue, also made on Wednesday.

Nanjala Nyabola, a writer and activist, notes that the protestors are driven by genuine grievances against the government.

“Until those grievances are addressed, it’s unlikely that they’re going to be willing to make concessions,” Nyabola said.

The movement, largely orchestrated through social media, is grappling with the question of how to proceed without clear leadership, which is causing internal friction.

Christine Odera, co-chair of the Kenya Coalition on Youth, Peace and Security, believes that formalizing the

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